Go to a safe place, contact someone you trust (or call an advocate at the Crime Victims Center, phone number below), and seek immediate care at Chester County Hospital, Brandywine Hospital, Paoli Hospital or the Student Health Center. It is important to check for injuries, sexually transmitted infections (STI's), or pregnancy. See page 10 in the Sexual Misconduct Policy for more information.
24 hour assistance is available at:
If you want to submit evidence (commonly known as a "rape kit"), it is best collected within 72 hours of the assault. Evidence can be submitted at a hospital but not at the University health center. It is recommended that you do not shower or change your clothes before going to the hospital so as to retain as much evidence as possible. (Bring a change of clothes as well).
You do not have to press charges if you undergo evidence collection.
A Crime Victim Advocate from the Crime Victims Center of Chester County can accompany you to the hospital to provide support and answer any questions you may have. To obtain an advocate call 610-692-7273. The hospital emergency room can also obtain an advocate for you at your request.
Each hospital varies, but we recommend having a Crime Victim advocate with you for assistance. Some hospitals will also have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), a nurse who is trained specifically in sexual assault medical care. For more information, please see RAINN's page, "What is a Rape Kit?"
The Student Health Center, a local hospital, or at Planned Parenthood.
To press criminal charges, call 911 or contact your local police department. Filing a police report will initiate a criminal investigation.
You have three options to file a report on campus:
You can fill out a form online at wcupa.edu/sexualmisconductreport or by visiting any office listed in the On-Campus Resources page. If you incur problems submitting a report, contact the campus Title IX Coordinator/Social Equity Director, Lynn Klingensmith, at LKlingensmith@wcupa.edu or 610-436-2433, Office of Social Equity, 13/15 University Avenue, West Chester University, West Chester, PA, 19383.
The University will do their best to maintain confidentiality of any person who has reported an incident of sexual misconduct, and will not inform parents or guardians. However, in cases of life-threatening situations or when there is a threat to the campus community, confidentiality is not legally possible. The University will inform the victim what steps need to take place that may affect confidentiality.
No. When a victim reports a crime to the police, the police will do a investigation and often the police/detectives will confer with the District Attorney's Office about pressing charges. Pennsylvania is a Commonwealth and as a result it is always the Commonwealth that will "press the charges". Chester County District Attorney's welcomes victims' input in all crimes and specifically sexual assaults.
Even if the incident did not occur at WCU, the Title IX Coordinator would like to make sure you are provided support and resources to continue to be a successful member of the WCU community. Any incident can be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
You may report the incident to the local police department where the incident occurred. If the perpetrator was a WCU student, you may still file a campus complaint even if the assault occurred off-campus.
You do not have to report an act of sexual misconduct if you do not want to. We have a number of resources for emotional support:
If a case moves forward, you may be interested by a Public Safety Officer, a Title IX fact finder, or both. A case may then go to a Judicial Board Hearing where you can have a support person and an advisor/attorney who can be consulted privately but cannot participate in the proceedings. There are also several on-campus resources and off-campus resources available for legal support and counseling. Each case varies based on each individualized case. If you have questions, you can also reach out to the Title IX Coordinator/Social Equity Director, Lynn Klingensmith at LKlingensmith@wcupa.edu or 610-436-2433.
You generally will not face disciplinary charges from the University, Department of Public Safety, or Police. Please refer to the Medical Amnesty Policy in the WCU Student Code of Conduct for further information.
On-Campus Legal Advice is available by appointment, which can be scheduled by logging onto your myWCU account, and clicking on the Student Legal Service Appointment link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, under Student Resource Links.
The Office of the Assistant Dean of Students, working in conjunction with the Title IX Coordinator/Social Equity Director can arrange changes in academic schedules, housing, parking, work assignments, amongst other interim measures. Please contact the Title IX Coordinator/Social Equity Director if you have further questions.
Having the support of a friend can be invaluable to someone who has been sexually assaulted. Knowing the resources available and being able to provide support in whatever steps he/she decides to take are important. There are also resources available for you if you need someone to talk to.
Make sure you are communicating effectively with your partner before and during any sexual interaction. Remember, impairment due to drugs or alcohol, physical force or abuse, intimidation, coercion, mental or physical impairment, threats, or isolation takes away a person's ability to freely consent. If you're not sure if you have consent, STOP.